Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Wiltshire Council expects to cut 600 jobs

Up to 600 jobs could be axed at Wiltshire Council over the next five years, a survey has found.

In response to the Facing The Cuts survey by BBC News the authority said funding cuts could lead to job losses.

It said most of the posts would be lost through finding better ways of working and natural wastage.

The merger of the former district and county councils into the new unitary authority should save about £6m of an overall £25m shortfall.

'Seriously underfunded'

The council also hopes to save another £8m through better negotiation of contracts - and being smarter in the way it buys services and products.

Fleur de Rhe-Philipe, from Wiltshire Council, said: "Wiltshire has always been a seriously underfunded council, we're one of the lowest funded in the country.

"We're looking at everything to make sure we're getting value for money. We went unitary at the right time, so an enormous amount of the difficulties we're facing have been helped by that.

"A lot of the posts lost will be (made through) new ways of working and natural wastage."

Back office functions

The new unitary authority is also investigating ways of working closely with other public services.

This could lead to the council sharing what it calls "back office functions" with other public bodies like the police and NHS Wiltshire in the future.

The council said that by working together it could take away duplication in some areas resulting in fewer staff.

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